SEXY, PROVOCATIVE AND HUMOROUS, K’RD STRIP IS A STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THAT TWISTS DRAMATIC SCENES WITH HAKA, DRAG QUEENS, LIVE KIWI MUSIC, AND CONTEMPORARY DANCE. OKAREKA DANCE COMPANY BRINGS TO YOU A WHIRLWIND SHOW THAT WILL CAPTURE YOUR HEART AND YOUR IMAGINATION.
K’Rd Strip is available for future bookings. For further information please contact Taiaroa Royal, Artistic Director - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ancient Māori mythology, history and intoxicated tales saturate the stage as the all-queer cast skilfully entice you and leave you wanting more. Misfits of society have roamed the infamous Karangahape Road since the early 70s. A road of extremes where we’ve laughed our heads off and cried our hearts out, where we’ve been flattered and rejected, excited and scared, loved and lost. A place where we proudly stand in the sun and shamefully lurk in the shadows. Karangahape Road is a bitter sweet vice where life is art and art is life.
THE STARS SHINE ON THE K RD STRIP IN THE NAME OF DANCE THEATRE !
It is important for Okareka Dance Company to produce powerful art that upholds integrity, intention and mana. It was our intention to create a show that harnessed Māori culture with a variety of disciplines that would travel successfully around the country as well as the world. A strong storyline mixed with drama, culture, contemporary dance, live singing and a carefully selected cast, has enabled the company to grow and develop a new audience outside of its normal demographic. K’Rd Strip celebrates the LGBT community and delivers a positive message empowering the next generation of queers to stand tall and claim their own turangawaewae, their own place to stand. This contemporary fusion exposes a new genre of theatre that will strengthen the fabric of contemporary dance in New Zealand, placing Aotearoa on the map for developing groundbreaking art. While K’Rd Strip tours, Okareka Dance Company will engage and provide opportunities to develop its education programme by offering classes and workshops to young dance enthusiasts. This will create awareness of dance performance which will have a positive impact on the community.
“Hilarious, heartbreaking, informative, entertaining and spiritually profound.” Cat Ruka
“The acapella version of Split Enz’s Dirty Creative is worth the price of the show alone.” Raewyn Whyte
“Fierce, frightening and f**king fabulous.” Beth O’Leary, Fringe Review UKm
Taane Mete graduated with honours from the New Zealand School of Dance in 1988. His performing experience has seen him dance with companies such as Footnote Dance Company, Douglas Wright Dance Company, Taiao Dance Company, Fusion Dance Theatre, Michael Parmenter’s Commotion Company, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, The Human Garden, Mau Dance and Atamira Dance Company. In 2005 and 2006 Taane worked as a television presenter for the program Takataapui. Taane graduated from the Leadership New Zealand Program in 2008 and continues to advocate a leadership role in the dance community. Now into his 30th year as a performer, Taane continues to develop exciting new projects for the company repertoire.
Originally from Tauranga, Jason comes from a musical family where he was encouraged to learn classical piano from an early age. He enhanced his musicianship by studying at Victoria University of Wellington before moving to Auckland in 2002 where he broadened his horizons and now works as a freelance actor, singer, dancer, director, vocal coach, musical director and pianist.
Jason received outstanding reviews for his performance as Mitch Albom in the NZ premiere of ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’ with Newmarket Stage Company.
He has performed in ‘You Can Always Hand Them Back’, ‘The Mikado’, ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘La Cage Aux Folles’ (The Court Theatre, Christchurch), ‘Stepping Out’ (ATC), Raymond Hawthorne’s acclaimed production of ‘The Consul’ (Opera Factory), ‘King & Country’ (Howick Little Theatre), ‘Rent’ (playing Angel, for which he won the NAPTA Award for Best Supporting Male in a Musical), ‘Ragtime’, and ‘The Secret Garden’.
Jason has directed several musicals, including ‘Mrs McGinty & The Bizarre Plant’ (The Court Theatre), ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ for Manukau Performing Arts, which won 9 NAPTA Awards including Best Musical, Best Director and Best Ensemble Cast. Other shows he has directed include the National Youth Theatre Company (NYTC) production of ‘Grease’ (Aotea Centre, Auckland), ‘Chicago’, ‘Our House (The Madness Musical)’, Rogers & Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’, and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, as well as Howick Little Theatre’s play ‘The Raft’, by NZ playwright Carl Nixon.
He has musically directed ‘Altar Boyz’ (Fortune Theatre, Dunedin), the successful ATC production ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, ‘Checkout Chicks’ and ‘The Twits’, ‘Blood Brothers’ (with Annie Whittle & Ray Woolf), ‘West Side Story’, ‘Cabaret’, ‘Hair’, ‘The Wiz’ and ‘Godspell’.
Taiaroa trained at the New Zealand School of Dance, graduating in 1984. He has since performed with major dance companies both at home and abroad, including The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Douglas Wright and Dancers, Michael Parmenter’s Commotion Company, Black Grace, Orotokare and Atamira Dance Company. Tai has successfully choreographed many high profile events across Australasia including the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Arts Awards in Wellington, Auckland’s Christmas in the Park and over the past 3 years has choreographed operas for NZ Opera. Tai is also part of the teaching faculty at the UNITEC Bachelor of Performing Screen Arts, and has taught at The New Zealand School of Dance as well as many private dance schools.
Will graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance in 2006 with a National Diploma in Contemporary Dance. Will has gone on to perform nationally and internationally with some of the biggest companies and choreographers in NZ namely Douglas Wright, Shona McCullagh, Southern Lights Dance Company, Loons Circus Theatre, Unconsious Corps, Dionysos Music Theatre, Grayboy Entertainment, Auckland Theatre Company and of course Okareka Dance Company. Will is also currently working on his debut EP under WCB based out of Sydney.
Will is incredibly excited about working with Okareka again especially with this amazing cast and crew.
Adam has been a professional Actor/Singer and live drag performer all over New Zealand for over 6 years. Having completed training in both Auckland and at Toi Whakaari (NZ Drama School) in Wellington, Adam has been involved in no less than 8 professional children’s theatre productions. He has had numerous roles in TV and various theatre productions in and around Auckland since 2006. Known for his quixotic energy and engaging presence, he has the ability to hold an audience in the palm of his hand. “The opportunity to be involved in such an amazingly creative project thrills me no end. This is a show of a lifetime and will excite, inspire and entertain – while exploring one of NZ’S most famous Rd’s. I Love It!!”
After graduating from UNITEC’s Performing and Screen Arts program in 2004, Jesse has gone on to forge a career in the dance industry through performance, choreography, rehearsal direction and company administration. In 2007, Jesse joined Footnote NZ as a full time company member and worked with some of New Zealand’s leading choreographers including Michael Parmenter, Raewyn Hill, Malia Johnston and Sarah Foster-Sproull as well as debuting his first choreographic work ‘Little Sister’ in 2009. During his three year contract with the company, Jesse danced in numerous tours both nationally and internationally including Australia, Hong Kong and Belgium. His experience includes working on the acclaimed World of Wearable Art Awards Show, touring internationally with Vospertron and dancing and choreographing for many of NZ’s high profile corporations. He has extensive experience dancing and choreographing for film and television including both local and international television series, commercials and music videos. Jesse joined Okareka Dance Company in 2011 performing in the world premiere and national tour of ‘Nga Hau E Wha’ and later as rehearsal director for ‘Tama Ma’ at the Holland Dance Festival in January 2014. Jesse assistant choreographed ‘K’Rd Strip’ in its first season, and now joins the cast for 2015.
MEET THE TEAM BEHIND K'RD Strip
Elizabeth has designed costumes for The NBR New Zealand Opera, Auckland Theatre Company, The Silo, Court Theatre, Okareka Dance Company, Red Leap Dance, Black Grace, Douglas Wright and Dancers, Michael Parmenter, Atamira Dance Company, Shona McCullagh, and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. She designed costumes for Pop-Up Theatre in London which was performed at the Edinburgh Festival. Opera design credits include Faust, Carmen, La Bohème (twice), Falstaff, Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro (twice), Così Fan Tutte (NZO), Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci for the Opera 2011 winter season and Acis and Galatea, and Don Giovanni in 2013. Theatre design credits include In the Next Room, Mary Stuart, Well Hung, Equus, Cabaret, Into the Woods, Sweet Charity, Hair, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Duchess of Malfi, Pillow Man, My Name Is Gary Cooper, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Glass Menagerie, and Anne Boleyn (ATC); The Country Wife, La Cage aux Folles, The Great Gatsby and Cabaret (Court Theatre); Tartuffe, Top Girls, Three Days of Rain, Irma Vep, The Scene, Holding the Man, When the Rain Stops Falling, Assassins, and Tartuffe (The Silo).
After graduating from UNITEC with a Diploma in Performance Technology in 2004, Jonny went on to become Senior Technical Operator for the Silo Theatre Company for 5 years. He moved on to work with companies such as The Royal New Zealand Ballet and The New Zealand Dance Company touring locally and internationally. As well as working in the dance and theatre scene, Jonny has also worked on such events as the Telecom Christmas Tree, the Auckland City Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony, the Silver Scroll Awards and the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. He has toured New Zealand with multiple national and international music acts and in 2008 joined Okareka Dance Company as Lighting Operator for the Company’s first production, ‘Tama Ma’. Jonny continues to tour with Okareka in various roles, most recently as Technical Production Manager for ‘Mana Wahine’.
OUR STORIES OF K’RD
“I was drawn to Karangahape Road in the early nineties when I first moved to Auckland as a budding dancer. Fascinated by the cultural diversity and the fashion sense of the day it helped me to prepare my journey that would strengthen my character in years to come. The night life was a turning point where the glamorous personalities, over-sized drag queens and young gays coming out the first time gave me the tools that would sharpen my social skills.
K’Rd was my school yard where I learned how to develop my drag persona Kornisha. Having the best teachers around didn’t necessarily mean that I would be given the tricks of the trade. The only way to grow as a budding drag queen was to watch and learn over many years. I’ve seen the cruel and the kind sides of K’Rd, and it will always be one of the places that I refer to as home.”
“K’Rd has embraced me wholeheartedly for the past 12 years. Personally, I associate with being different. Vagrant. Misunderstood. Vibrant. I associate with biculturalism. Being Pakeha. Being Maori. Feeling lucky, feeling torn. I associate with music. I associate with dance. I associate with sexuality conflict. Acceptance. Rejection. Elation. Despair. I associate with people. I associate with community. But most importantly, I associate with love, and with light. K’Rd not only provides an environment that is devoid of judgement, but it encourages self-recognition, self-confidence, and self-acceptance. K’Rd shines a beacon of light for anyone who needs guidance, and whanau.”
“K’Rd has always meant to me – a community of fun and laughter; a place where I’ve been able to express myself as I really am… a proud gay Maori man! K’Rd is a performance space, a street where I’ve performed both on its road and in its many clubs and bars. It’s a street of excitement, of passion, of daring and of love. But most of all it is a street where people are coming constantly, the effervescent are always there, the stalwarts frozen in their usual place, the office workers and school girls too-ing and fro-ing. K’Rd is home to all of this – home to vibrancy, colour and pride!!!”
“K’Rd to me has always been a place of wonder. Being young and gay and coming to terms with society’s idea of what that means was hard (albeit some years ago now). K’Rd offered an insight to what it could be like when the dust of coming out settled; it showed me that all my bright and colourful craziness was wonderful and beautiful and, if anything, duller than most… (Don’t worry I’ve upped my game!) I guess it felt like a secret guilty pleasure where I could take my beige ideas of myself, flip them upside down, add glitter, flashing lights, self-worth, and view it all through a kaleidoscope built of acceptance, tolerance, and not giving a f***!”
“I have such a strong long-standing connection with K’Rd; I started going there at only 15 and have kept going back ever since. There are sights you may never see anywhere else in New Zealand and that’s why I love it so much – You can be anyone you want to be on K’Rd!! That’s possibly why I feel so close to this project. Being able to show people the different facets and possibilities only strengthens my connection with this amazing pathway which brings us all together at some point.”
“For me, K’Rd is a place to meet, greet, celebrate, forgive, forget, dance, kiss and hookup with random strangers. I have spent many a day, night and early morning stomping the tar seal in jandals, barefoot and 6 inch heels. It’s a place of familiarity, comfort and a melting pot of diverse culture. It’s where the stride of pride and the walk of shame happen simultaneously. K’Rd is infamous, dangerous, mysterious but most of all K’Rd is an experience.”
MAORI TO ENGLISH SONG TRANSLATIONS
I TAE MAI AU I RUNGA I A KAIWHARE
HE WHAI ATUA, HE WHAI TIPUA, HE TAKOHA NA TANGAROA, NA HINEMOANA
MAI I HAWAIIKI NUI KI HAWAIIKI TAUTAU
KI TE NGUTU AWA TE-WHANGA-O-MANUKAU E
KO TE KARANGA MAIOHA
KO TE KARANGA AU MIHI, KO TE KARANGA TUATAHI KI A TAINUI WAKA, KO TE WHITIKI O TE KII EEEE
KO TE KARANGA-A-HAPE I RUNGA O PUKETAPAPA
KO TE KARANGA-A-HAPE,
KO TE KARANGA-A-HAPE,
KO TE KARANGA-A-HAPE EEEE!
I arrived on Kaiwhare
A stingray from the Gods, from my ancestors, a gift from Tangaroa and Hinemoana
Coming from Hawaiki Nui to Aotearoa
To the mouth the Manukau Habour.
Call of welcome, first call to the Tanui canoe
I am calling from the hilltop of Puketapapa
These are my words
These are my words
This is my call!
TANE WAHINE TAKATAPUI
E NGUNGURU NEI
AU, AU, AUE HA!
NGA KUINI O TE PO
E NGUNGURU NEI
AU, AU, AUE HA!
HE MAHI TAKAHANGA NOA IHO TE KAIRAUTANGA
TU TONU, TU MAIA, TU TOA, TU KAHA, TU RANGATIRA E!
PERA I OKU MATUA TUPUNA!
HE URI AU, NO HAPE, NO HAPE
TURANGAWAEWAE O HAPE E NGUNGURU NEI
HE KAINGA, HE MAHI, HE MONI, HE ORANGE E!
HI, HA, HI!
Gays, lesbians, communities.
Me, myself and I.
Queens of the night.
Me, myself and I.
Solicitation is a common practice on K’Rd.
K’Rd, the famous place.
And yet, I continue to stand tall, stand strong and stand like my ancestors.
I am the descendant of Hape.
Hape’s place to stand is K’Rd.
Home, work, money and sustenance.
All places of K’Rd.